Ernesto Valverde wants Barcelona chiefs to bring forward plans to sign highly rated Germany international Leon Goretzka.

The Schalke midfielder will be out of contract in June, and top Barca scout Ariedo Braida has been watching him regularly this season.

Diario Gol says Valverde has concerns about his midfield options, especially a replacement for Lionel Messi, and has identified Goretzka for this purpose.

With Goretzka not Cup-tied from the Champions League, that will make him available for Barca’s round of 16 tie with Chelsea.

Also on Barca’s January shopping list is Gremio youngster Arthur Melo, but it’s thought that his inexperience won’t make him have the sort of immediate impact expected from Goretzka.


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